If there is one thing that makes me feel most alive, most connected to the world, it would be traveling. I love being in the center of a new place, where my senses are assaulted with all the sights, sounds, and smells of a city or place.
My last two weeks have been spent in Dublin, Ireland, a city I expected to be 100 times the size of what it actually is. For its international recognition, it is a fairly small European city with lots of cobblestone streets and a river that runs through the center. Its situated along the coast, which I knew in theory, but when you have seagulls outside your bedroom window while you look out over the city, your equilibrium gets off somehow.
The beauty of Dublin being small is that I’ve gotten to know a pretty good portion of it. The tram system is easy, but most places are within a 10-15 minute walk. Its fairly safe, and I’ve rarely found myself anywhere that I probably shouldn’t be.
I’ve been surprised by more than I realized. When I asked my Irish seat-mate on the flight over what I should see in the city, he just shrugged and said “whatever you want.” I had imagined him to rattle off lots of places that are iconic, but he just said to enjoy myself and do what I like, and that I would have a great time.
And he’s been right. Dublin is very livable and easy to manage. The tax benefits make it ideal for big businesses to have their European offices here. Google, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft all have a large presence.
But the people are incredibly down-to-earth. They’re helpful and friendly, but only when asked. Waiters don’t hover, no one tips, and the food is all locally sourced. Virtually no one is overweight, despite coming from what I perceived to be the land of Guinness and potatoes.
The skies are bright, the grass is almost electric, and the Starbucks cups are the most beautiful cups you’ve ever seen. They’re also impressively dedicated to good cocktails.
This little city has become my home away from home for the past 2 weeks, and I still have a few more days to soak it in before flying home. I’ve loved the ease of living here. Feeling like I belong in some remote part of the world that I’ve never been. Knowing the streets and shops and tram line and traffic patterns. It feels familiar and foreign all that the same time.
Dublin, you’ve welcomed me with open arms, treated me well, showed me your most sarcastic sides, as well as your relentless honesty. Thanks for having me xoxo